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Julia Child meets the BGE at Mad Max's

mad max beyond eggdomemad max beyond eggdome Posts: 8,134
edited 10:56PM in EggHead Forum
ok kids, first some background. . .since i was a kid, one of my favorite meals of all time has been a casserole from "The French Chef Cookbook", by Julia Child circa 1968. . .it is called "Carbonnade De Boeuf A La Provencale" (or beef, potatoe and onion casserole). . .mom used to make this (rarely, mind you), and even after i got married, i convinced my wife to make it once or twice. .. but it has been at least 10 years since i last had it. . .anyway, i was thinking the other day "hmmmm what can i do creative on my egg?", when it hit me (at first i just thought it was gas) like an epiphany -- i should find my julia child book, look up the recipe and do it on the egg. . .so down to the basement i went, found the cookbook, it was even marked at the correct page (pg. 208 for those who might actually have this book). . .[p]now before i give the recipe, let me just say, "IT WAS UNBELIEVABLE". . .this may be one of the best things i've done yet in a pot in the egg. . .the wife also raved. . .with the wood smoke infusion it really had a wonderful rustic flavor (probably the way it was originally intended) that could never be duplicated in an oven. . [p]so. .. here is the recipe, directly out of the cookbook (at the end i will give you my very minor deviations). .[p]CARBONNADE DE BOEUF A LA PROVENCALE[p]3lbs chuck steak cut into 3/8 inch slices (i used eye of the round as it is what mom always used and makes for nicer slices)[p]THE MARINADE[p]1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 tblspn olive oil
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1/2 tsp pepper
2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp savory
3/4 tsp thyme[p]mix the marinade in a glazed, glass, or stainless-steel bowl. Turn and baste the meat with the liquid, cover and refrigerate for 6 hours or overnight, basting and turning the meat several times. (i marinated mine for about 6 1/2 hours)[p]The ONIONS[p]A heavy skillet
3 tblspns olive oil
5 - 6 cups of sliced onions[p]in the skillet, heat the oil, stir in the onions and cover closely, and cook slowly for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally until onions are tender and just starting to brown.[p]BAKING[p]a 6 quart flameproof casserole
7 to 8 cups sliced all-purpose potatoes
salt and pepper
beef boullion
1/4 cup parmessan cheese (for final step)[p]Drain meat and season with salt and pepper. Alternate layers of onions and meat in casserole. Pour in marinade ingredients, then arrange layers of potatoe slice on top, seasoning each layer with salt and pepper. Pour in enough bouillon to cover the meat; bring to a simmer on top of stove.[p]ON THE EGG[p]here is where i deviated from the oven instructions:. . .at the point i put the casserole on the stove to simmer, i lit the egg and let it come up to 350 degrees. I put in some hickory chips, and laid the grid on top of the inverted plate setter. When the egg was steady at 350 (after about 20 minutes), i pulled the casserole from the stove and put it in the egg uncovered for 1 hour at 350 (same as julia in the oven). After one hour, spinkle the parmessan cheese liberally over the potatoes, open the vents and let the temps go up to 425 degrees. Using a baster bulb, squirt some of the liquid all over the top and baste again at about 15 minutes. Remove the casserole after 30 minutes at 425 (check the meat and potatoes with a fork for tenderness). [p]gang this is an easy recipe with fantastic results. ..the smokey flavor primarily infused the potatoes and cheese, and again, made for a real rustic taste. .. serve it with some crusty bread. . .nothing else needed. . .[p]btw. . .i took pictures with my little web cam, but i'm too stupid to figure out how to post them. .. i'd be happy to email one to anyone smarter than me. . [p]max


  • J AppledogJ Appledog Posts: 1,046
    mad max beyond eggdome, I met Julia Child on the elevator at the Hay-Adams! JCA
  • J Appledog,
    name-dropper!!!! . .. you know, chef's come and go, but nobody, and i do mean nobody, has the staying power of that woman. .. one of my favorite cooking shows is the one with her and jaques peppan. .. the reverence that he shows towards her always amazes me (as well as the food). ..and her books are still some of the best around. . IMHO. .

  • J AppledogJ Appledog Posts: 1,046
    I couldn't help myself, mad max beyond eggdome.[p]It was her 80th birthday celebration, at the same time as the N.A.S.F.T. Fancy Food Show. I was wearing one of my Mrs. Dog's shirts (which have been designed by various artists over the years) that had 3 strands of pearls sewn to the collar. Close your eyes and picture her, leaning over me, saying "Tell me about this shirt!" [p]A letter from her, written just after that, is one of my most treasured posessions. [p]I love the book with Jacques Pepin also! The cheese souffle is the best.... JCA[p]

  • J Appledog,
    at 6'2" i'll bet she towers over everyone. . .i'd frame a letter from her if i ever got one. ..

  • Mac  in NCMac in NC Posts: 287
    mad max beyond eggdome,[p]What would constitute a "flameproof" casserole dish? All I have is a Pyrex casserole. Would that work?
    The recipe sounds awesome. Looking forward to trying it. Mac

  • Mac in NC ,
    i use an old heavy bottom aluminum pot (about 6 quarts) that i designated as my 'egg' pot for casseroles/chili/beans/etc. . . it is developing a nice smokey patina. .. if you are cooking in the egg indirect, then anything that can withstand oven temps will withstand egg temps in the same range. . .with this dish, the high temp is only 425, so pyrex may work just fine (isn't it designed to handle just about any conventional oven temps?). . .i have used my corning wear in the egg at 350 - 400 with no problem as well. . .really, any good 6 quart pot/dish will work just fine. . .my goal someday when i have about $200 to blow is to get one large piece of good le crueset enamel to use for casseroles/chili, etc. in the egg. . .[p]as they say. ..try it, you;ll like.. .it really was good. . .and actually, it will probably be even better as a winter time meal. . .

  • Wise OneWise One Posts: 2,645
    mad max beyond eggdome, I think you should write her, tell her about your eggperiences with her recipe, and invite her to EGGtoberfest. The thing I always liked about her was that she created such a mess when she cooked - just like me. :-)

  • Wise One,
    not a bad idea about the letter. . .and you are so right about the messes she made. . .i remember one time in particular, she had a big cleaver cutting through some heavy bone, and the cleaver got stuck in the bone. . .well she raised that bad boy way over head and let fly and the bone flew off the cleaver, half way across the kitchen. . .LOL. . .btw, i think i heard recently where they will be putting her famous kitchen in the smithsonian. . .i'd like to see that. .

  • JSlotJSlot Posts: 1,218
    The recipe says to add the marinade ingredients to casserole, Max. Does that mean to add the reserved marinade from the meat to the casserole?[p]Jim
  • JSlot,
    exactly, after you layer the meat and onions, whatever reserve is left in the marinade 'bowl', through into the casserole (there really won't be that much to be honest), then top off the meat with the beef boullion (btw, i just used canned swanson's beef broth for this step). . .[p]good luck[p]max

  • Citizen QCitizen Q Posts: 484
    mad max beyond eggdome,
    WGBH, the local PBS affiliate here (and producer of Julia's shows) runs 2 stations 24 hours, and sometimes, in the wee hours of the morning, they run old episodes of The French Chef. It just so happens that about a month or so ago, I caught the "CARBONNADE DE BOEUF A LA PROVENCALE" episode, in black and white was so infatuated with the dish that I completely forgot to write down the recipe. Thanks to Max for violating U.S. copyright laws and providing us with the recipe here.[p]Cheers,

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